Australian Conservation Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy, said:
“In a world where urgent pollution cuts are needed to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees, and secure a safe planet, a credible energy policy cannot ignore climate change.
“Labor’s energy announcement today sits in stark contrast to the Morrison Government’s reckless and irresponsible abandonment of any emissions reduction mechanism for the electricity sector, the single biggest source of climate pollution in our country.
“Business, civil society and the community understand that emissions cuts and the obligations of the Paris Agreement must be central to any national energy plan.
“Labor’s policy includes important measures that will continue to drive the penetration of clean renewable energy into Australia’s power system. Importantly, it also looks to support those workers caught up in the inevitable transition away from polluting fuels like coal.
“Malcolm Turnbull’s National Energy Guarantee (NEG) contained several design flaws as a mechanism to drive down pollution in the electricity sector. Bill Shorten’s NEG 2.0 would need to fix these problems and set an emissions trajectory consistent with international commitments to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
“And neither major party has yet documented how it will accelerate the transition away from burning and exporting polluting coal consistent with the recommendations of the world’s leading scientists working through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. To date only the Greens have made this commitment.
“Australians are already experiencing climate damage. Droughts are getting worse. Dangerous bushfires are now threatening lives and homes in winter. And the Great Barrier Reef has been extensively damaged by coral bleaching.
“There are only a few critical years left to start making the necessary deep and rapid cuts to pollution to ensure this climate damage doesn’t get significantly worse. All parties need to protect Australians with responsible action on climate change in energy policy and beyond.”